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Is JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF (JPEM) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Making its debut on 01/07/2015, smart beta exchange traded fund JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF (JPEM) provides investors broad exposure to the Broad Emerging Market ETFs category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

For a long time now, the ETF industry has been flooded with products based on market capitalization weighted indexes, which are designed to represent the broader market or a particular market segment.

Market cap weighted indexes offer a low-cost, convenient, and transparent way of replicating market returns, and are a good option for investors who believe in market efficiency.

However, some investors believe in the possibility of beating the market through exceptional stock selection, and choose a different type of fund that tracks non-cap weighted strategies: smart beta.

This kind of index follows this same mindset, as it attempts to pick stocks that have better chances of risk-return performance; non-cap weighted strategies base selection on certain fundamental characteristics, or a mix of such characteristics.

The smart beta space gives investors many different choices, from equal-weighting, one of the simplest strategies, to more complicated ones like fundamental and volatility/momentum based weighting. However, not all of these methodologies have been able to deliver remarkable returns.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by J.P. Morgan, and has been able to amass over $249.96 million, which makes it one of the average sized ETFs in the Broad Emerging Market ETFs. JPEM, before fees and expenses, seeks to match the performance of the FTSE Emerging Diversified Factor Index.

The FTSE Emerging Diversified Factor Index are selected from advanced and secondary emerging markets strictly in accordance with guidelines and mandated procedures and are selected from constituents of the FTSE Emerging Index.

Cost & Other Expenses

Investors should also pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio. Lower cost products will produce better results than those with a higher cost, assuming all other metrics remain the same.

Operating expenses on an annual basis are 0.44% for JPEM, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

It's 12-month trailing dividend yield comes in at 4.03%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

While ETFs offer diversified exposure, which minimizes single stock risk, a deep look into a fund's holdings is a valuable exercise. And, most ETFs are very transparent products that disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

Looking at individual holdings, Taiwan Semiconductor accounts for about 2.11% of total assets, followed by Naspers Ltd Common Stock (NPN) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RELI_D.).

Its top 10 holdings account for approximately 14.16% of JPEM's total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

So far this year, JPEM has lost about -13.44%, and is down about -6.34% in the last one year (as of 10/14/2020). During this past 52-week period, the fund has traded between $36.19 and $58.24.

The fund has a beta of 0.85 and standard deviation of 22.57% for the trailing three-year period, which makes JPEM a medium risk choice in this particular space. With about 501 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.

Alternatives

JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF is not a suitable option for investors seeking to outperform the Broad Emerging Market ETFs segment of the market. Instead, there are other ETFs in the space which investors should consider.

IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG) tracks MSCI Emerging Markets Investable Market Index and the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO) tracks FTSE Emerging Markets All Cap China A Inclusion Index. IShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF has $56.04 billion in assets, Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF has $63.08 billion. IEMG has an expense ratio of 0.13% and VWO charges 0.10%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Broad Emerging Market ETFs.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.


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JPMorgan Diversified Return Emerging Markets Equity ETF (JPEM): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG): ETF Research Reports
 
Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO): ETF Research Reports
 
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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